Linda Sheehan

POLIS Affiliate; Executive Director, Environment Now

Linda Sheehan guides Environment Now’s work to protect and restore California’s coastal, freshwater and forest ecosystems, for the benefit of all Californians.

Prior to Environment Now, Linda was an independent consultant to California state agencies and national philanthropies, and served the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation as Senior Counsel and grants manager. She built and implemented nature’s rights programs as Executive Director and co-founder of Earth Law Center, oversaw the California Coastkeeper Alliance as Executive Director, and guided the Ocean Conservancy’s work as Pacific Region Director, where advanced legislative and policy initiatives benefitting freshwater and ocean systems. For her efforts “fight[ing] pollution of the Pacific and the streams and rivers that flow into it,” Ms. Sheehan was recognized as a “California Coastal Hero” by the California Coastal Commission and Sunset Magazine.

In addition to speaking worldwide on environmental topics, Linda has published extensively, including in Environmental Rights – The Development of Standards (Cambridge Univ. Press 2019), and with Stanford Law on “California Water Governance for the 21st Century” (2017). She has taught nature’s rights law at Vermont Law School, spoken before the U.N. General Assembly on the environment and sustainability, and offered rights-based climate strategies through TEDx (

Linda holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from MIT, an M.P.P. from U.C. Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley Law School.

As a POLIS Affiliate, Linda’s work has drawn upon and contributed to the POLIS Water Sustainablity Project for many years.